India Moves To Ban Tiger Safari Tours

May 6, 2010 | By | Reply More
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This week, India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority has called for a total ban on ‘tiger tourism’ and plans to phase out all 37 tiger reserves in India in hopes of stemming the decline of the endangered tiger populations.  For centuries global explorers and nature enthusiasts have roamed the jungles of India in hopes of spotting a Bengal tiger in the wild.  The population estimated at 40,000 in the early 1900’s has now dwindled to just 1,350, and is in danger of falling below a sustainable population.

Authorized Tiger Tours have failed to protect the population of tigers while attempting to bring tourists ever closer to their natural habitat.  Safari lodges have been built in Eco sensitive areas and some block the tiger’s traditional migratory routes.  Ever growing numbers of tours have resulted in tigers being herded by elephants to parade in front of a traffic jams of jeeps piled high with photo snapping tourists.  Worst of all, poachers have continually raided and killed tigers, which today almost guarantees the eventual extinction of tigers in India.

It is hoped that by taking the drastic measure of banning tiger sightseeing tours, the majestic Indian tiger will be able to repopulate their habitat undisturbed and rebuild their population.  What remains unknown, is whether the poachers will be able proliferate once attention is taken away from the tiger’s territory.  Many worry about what will become of the dozens of tour companies and their employees who live near the tiger reserves.  Will the tigers be left in peace to flourish, or without the spotlight of tourism will poachers thin the population to tragic levels?  This is indeed a very tentative and dangerous time for India’s tiger population.  Here’s hoping India can stabilize the population and prevent the eventuality when the only tigers that can be seen are in a zoo!

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Category: Adventure Vacations, Good To Know, India